May is Motorcycle Safety Month

Motorcycle safety is a critical issue in Texas, highlighted by the stark statistics from last year. Nearly 600 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes across the state, and over 2,400 riders sustained serious injuries. In the Austin area alone, 2023 saw 741 motorcycle crashes, leading to 50 fatalities among riders and passengers, and 211 serious injuries. These numbers underscore the urgent need for increased awareness and preventive measures to protect motorcyclists on Texas roads.

One of the injured riders was a man from Leander, who narrowly escaped death in a harrowing accident that occurred almost a year ago this month. While riding his motorcycle, another driver made a left turn directly in front of him, causing a catastrophic collision. The impact hurled him 20 yards from his bike, resulting in multiple fractured ribs, a broken left leg, a shattered pelvis, and severe internal injuries. This accident nearly deprived his wife and three sons of his presence, emphasizing the profound impact such incidents have on families and communities.

The increase in motorcycle fatalities in 2023, which rose by seven percent from the previous year, is alarming. Even more concerning is the 21 percent rise in fatal crashes at intersections. These statistics reflect the growing dangers motorcyclists face and the need for drivers to adopt safer practices when sharing the road.

In recognition of the heightened risks faced by motorcyclists, May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is actively promoting its “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” safety campaign. This initiative aims to protect motorcyclists by reminding all drivers of the importance of safe driving habits.

Marc Williams, the executive director of TxDOT, emphasizes the challenges in accurately judging the distance, size, and speed of motorcycles. He advocates for increased vigilance when sharing the road, stressing the importance of ensuring everyone gets home safely. Williams advises drivers to be particularly cautious around motorcycles and to give them adequate space, especially when making turns.

To help prevent motorcycle crashes, here are some crucial tips:

  1. Check Yourself: Always remind yourself to be on the lookout for motorcycles. This self-check helps train your eyes and brain to notice motorcycles on the road.
  2. Look Twice: Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes. When turning left, avoid cutting in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Since it’s challenging to gauge their speed and distance, let them pass first and always signal your turns.
  3. Pay Attention at Intersections: More than a third of all motorcycle fatalities occur at roadway intersections. Be extra cautious in these areas to prevent accidents.
  4. Maintain Space: Keep a safe following distance from motorcycles. Motorcyclists can slow down by downshifting, which doesn’t activate their brake lights. Treat motorcycles as you would cars by giving them a full lane when driving or passing.
  5. Slow Down: Adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your driving according to road conditions.
  6. Stay Alert: Devote your full attention to driving. Even a momentary distraction can lead to deadly consequences.

These simple but effective measures can significantly reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. By being more aware and considerate, drivers can help ensure that motorcyclists remain safe on the road. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month serves as a vital reminder that we all share the responsibility of creating a safer driving environment.

The rising number of motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries in Texas calls for immediate action. Through increased awareness and the adoption of safe driving practices, we can make the roads safer for everyone. Remember, the next life saved could be that of a motorcyclist riding beside you. Let’s all do our part to share the road responsibly and keep our fellow travelers safe.

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While most of our clients hail from Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Pflugerville in Travis and Williamson Counties, we have also worked with clients in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Other clients have come from Lakeway, Jollyville, Anderson Mill, Kyle, and Leander. If your accident was in Texas, we can help you. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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